Oliver Manson
(Pop Idol)

In the week that Hear'say get set to announce a split and Pop Idol turns up the heat we caught up with none other than Pop Idol contestant Oliver Manson. Better known to viewers of the show as Little Olly he famously caused a rift between judges Simon Cowell and Dr Fox and since the show has had interest from Byrne & Blood who are the management team behind A1 and Steps.

This week Pop Idol called Oliver back to the show to talk about how his life has changed since his Pop Idol success. We caught up with Oliver to find out how he found the Pop Idol experience and to get the inside information on the "Big Rick In Single Shocker" and "Pop Idol To Join Hear'say" stories.

Q: We haven't spoken to any of the contestants on Pop Idol yet so you're the lucky one. What was the whole Pop Idol experience like for you. It must have been strange being the youngest person on the show?
A: Everyone says it, but it was amazing!!! It was like the best experience ever. I really thought that it would work at a disadvantage with my age, but being so young everyone tried to mother me. It was really nice being the young one.

The people that got through from my group were Rosie and Jessica. Rosie went out last week and it was really upsetting...they're both out now in my which is upsetting because it makes my week look really bad. And it was a really good week.

Q: That nasty man Simon Cowell. Is he really as bad as people like to make out?
A: I think its all a show actually. I didn't think it was a show at first...when I first met him I really did think he was a right b*****d all the time!!! But then when I came to see one of the Final 10 shows he was so nice to me.

Dr Fox really is as cheesy as you see on TV. He's really funny with it and he protected me from Simon Cowell so i've got to like him!!!

Oliver Manson with Rosie Ribbon

Q: It must have been pretty mad since the whole Pop Idol experience. So what has happened since Pop Idol for you?
A: Well, I've done a lot of charity gigs for charities in Newcastle and London. I've had Byrne & Blood management talking to me who are the management company of Steps and A1. We'll have to see what happens with that because I was only told today by Kate Thornton (Pop Idol Extra presenter) that those guys wanted to get in contact with me the day after the show which happened ages ago in November.

Pete Waterman has phoned a few times as well. He's really busy at the moment with the whole Pop Idol thing so he's basically said to wait until Pop Idols finished and then hopefully something will happen.

Q: What's the reaction been like at school and just getting back to your normal life?
A: Most people at school have been great especially the little Year 7 girls...they've been fantastic!!! I thought it would all die down after about two weeks of me being out of the show, like "He's the loser out of Pop Idol" but they're still there going OLLY OLLY OLLY!!!!

The reaction at school has been really good. Especially the teachers which shocked me because I had to take a lot of time off school and they were really supportive.

It nice when you get to sign lots of autographs at the charity concerts....it makes you feel like a proper singer!!!

Q: Most of the kids your age are either into Nu-Metal or dance music. You're trying to make it as a Pop Idol, do you listen to chart pop?
A: I listen to 80s pop mainly but since the show I've been listening to a lot of stuff I'm trying to get the backing tracks for. I bought the Backstreet Boys and the Blue album but I still prefer listening to all the 80s stuff.

Celine Dion is the ultimate idol. Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Elton John, George Michael...I guess my idols are really sad aren't they!!!!

Q: Were down to the Final Five this week on Pop Idols. Who do you think will win and who do you want to win?
A: Its between Will and Gareth. That's who I think will win it and I can't decide between the two who will clinch it at the end. And I want Will or Zoe to win so I think overall I'd have to go for Will. His voice is just so unique and its effortless.

Gareth is a really nice boy but I don't think he's got a good enough voice to win the competition. He has the best look out of everyone, there's no doubt about that, but I just don't think he's got the right voice.

Q: Its all one big happy Pop Idol family and then Big Rick goes and spoils it all. What do you think about Rick releasing a single before the competition's even ended?
A: I think its a disgrace!!! We all signed a contract and until May 9th we can't do anything. Its alright putting a single out, but he's putting it out the week before the final show and then he goes in the Evening Standard in London and says "I'm pleased I kept in contact with all the Pop Idols because they'll make good backing singers one day". Its just so nasty!!!

He seemed like quite a nice boy and I've changed my mind now. I was speaking to a few people today at the studios and they all agree he's changed and gone totally up himself.

Q: I guess the main topic of conversation today was the Hear'say split rumours. What's the story you've heard down at Pop Idol?
A: I never actually watch the Popstars TV show...I think the only ones I saw was when Darius made an idiot out of himself and the final one!!! I think like everyone else I thought they'll be ok for a year and then they'll collapse. Even Nigel Lithgoe (AKA Nasty Nigel) said in my week that they wouldn't be lasting much longer...it was like fine!!!

Q: Apparently Kym Marsh is going to be replaced by a contestant out of Pop Idol. What's the story?
A: You want to know who will replace her? Heifer said today that she will do it but I don't think her voice is right for Hear'say. I don't think its right for Jessica Garlick and its definitely not right for Rosie.

Q: And the final question. What's the future for Olly Manson?
A: We'll wait until May 9th and we'll see if Pete phones. I've got to get my A-levels done first and then hopefully it will be straight into the studio. I asked myself so many times what if someone puts a deal on the table...its going to be such a hard decision.

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